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Two for Sorrow

Harper: HarperCollins. Aug. 2011. c.488p. ISBN 9780061451584. pap. $13.99. M
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This is the third in the engrossing series (Angel with Two Faces) featuring real-life mystery author and playwright Josephine Tey. Tey is researching a true crime story about the hanging deaths of two midwives who were convicted of running baby farms at the turn of the 20th century. Trouble is, Tey's research overlaps with people in her immediate circle, some 30 years later. Tey's habit of observing others is challenged when she is forced to bare her own emotions, not just in the case at hand, but in her personal life. Inspector Archie Penrose smells danger and guilt, and the killer gets desperate. All illusions are stripped bare by the end of this meaty psychological thriller.
VERDICT This excellent entry in this highly recommended series provides all the classic detective components with a contemporary kick. If your readers relish Tey's original golden age mysteries and know their details, Upson's series should have strong appeal. The case is intricate and surprisingly intimate, weaving in and out of two historical periods and featuring that Upstairs Downstairs class element. It showcases London's theater scene beautifully, as well.

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